PRSA - Maryland Chapter - Public Relations Society of America

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Do you know a long-time PR professional who has exhibited extraordinary achievements and demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of public relations? What about a new professional who has proven to be a rising star? Are you aware of a Maryland educator who has demonstrated a commitment to public relations/communications programs and its students? Is there a vendor that has shown outstanding support of our profession?  We are looking for nominations for the following awards…

Lifetime Achievement
Paul E. Welsh (NEW)
Rising Star
PR Team Award
Educator of the Year
Partner of Distinction

*Nominations are accepted throughout the year and are presented at the Best In Maryland Awards Gala & Holiday party in December. No fees apply.

Lifetime Achievement

PRSA Maryland’s top award recognizes professional achievement in the practice of public relations. Recipients are industry leaders, with a minimum of 20 years of experience, who have exhibited extraordinary achievements and demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of public relations. The award recognizes an individual based on the following:

  • Effective use of public relations concepts and techniques and counsel to employers, employees, clients and employers
  • A history of participation in PRSA and/or other organizations dedicated to the advancement of the communications profession (five year minimum active participation with PRSA; not required to be a current member at time of nomination)
  • Demonstrated ethical behavior in accordance with the PRSA Code of Ethics

Lifetime Achievement Nomination Form

Past Lifetime Achievement Honorees

  • 2016 – Louise Lake Hayman, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2015 – Ralph Crosby, Crosby Marketing Communications
  • 2014 – Bonnie K. Heneson, President, Bonnie Heneson Communications, Inc.
  • 2013 – Helen Szablya
  • 2012 – Jody Aud, APR, Associate Director, Internal Communications, MedImmune
  • 2011 – Jacqueline Lampell, Deputy Director of Communications and Marketing, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
  • 2010 – Gene Bracken, Director of Communications, Greater Baltimore Committee
  • 2009 – Harry Bosk, Bosk Communications
  • 2008 – Charles J. Fitzgibbon, APR, Executive Vice President, Weber Shandwick Worldwide
  • 2007 – Barbara Butt, Crosby Marketing Communications
  • 2006 – Ann Gallant, Vice President, Corporate Communications Director, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
  • 2005 – Elaine Freeman, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • 2003 – Mac Barrett
  • 2002 – Robert L. Meade
  • 2001 – Judith T. Phair
  • 2000 – Katie Ryan
  • 1999 – Fran Minakowski
  • 1998 – Gil Sandler
  • 1997 – Richard Birkmeyer
  • 1996 – Sandy Hillman
  • 1995 – David Kirby
  • 1994 – Phyllis Brotman
  • 1993 – Paul Welsh
  • 1992 – James Holechek
  • 1991 – William F. Zorzi
  • 1989 – John “Jack” Felton

Paul E. Welsh Award – New

This award recognizes the individual who represented the best in public relations as an outstanding example of the management function that establishes mutually beneficial relationship between an organization and the public upon whom it success or failure depends.  Named for Paul Welsh, APR, a long-time PRSA Maryland member and past president of the chapter, who created our state’s nickname “America in Miniature,” this is a new award in 2017.

Recipients are public relations practitioners who, like Paul, effectively use public relations to fuel solutions. This award is presented to a PRSA member with a minimum of 10 years of experience. The award recognizes an individual based on the following:

  • Employed full-time in the practice of public relations for at least 10 years
  • Effectively supports his/her clients’ or company’s communications objectives
  • Demonstrated ethical behavior in accordance with the PRSA Code of Ethics
  • Exhibits conduct consistent with the highest standards of professionalism when dealing with clients and colleagues at all levels of their organization.

Paul E. Welsh Award Nomination Form

Rising Star

The Rising Star (formerly New Professional of the Year) Award is like a jump start to those just starting out in PR or communications. The Award recognizes a rising star in public relations who meets the following criteria:

  • Employed full-time in the practice of public relations for five or fewer years
  • Demonstrated an understanding of the principles of public relations
  • Effectively supports his/her clients’ or company’s communications objectives
  • Demonstrated ethical behavior in accordance with the PRSA Code of Ethics
  • Exhibits conduct consistent with the highest standards of professionalism when dealing with clients and colleagues at all levels of their organization.

Nominees are not required to be current PRSA members. 

Rising Star Nomination Form

New Pro of the Year Past Winners

  • 2016 – Lauren Michelotti, AECOM
  • 2015 – Josie Hankey, Communications Strategist, Fallston Group, LLC
  • 2014 – Kylie, Muratore, PR Coordinator, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.
  • 2013 – Jessica McKay, Erickson Living
  • 2012 – Garrett Berberich, Himmelrich PR
  • 2011 – Eleni Polites, Weber Shandwick
  • 2010 – Bridget Forney, Junior Account Executive, Profiles, Inc.
  • 2008 –
  • 2009 – Katie Mercado, Junior Marketing Specialist, A. Bright Idea
  • 2007 – Lindsay Muller, account executive at IMRE Communications
  • 2006 – Andrea Kerns, Senior Communications and Marketing Associate, Harbor Hospital
  • 2002 – Nicole Nichols
  • 2001 – Laura Snyde, imre
  • 2000 – Jennifer Kellar, account executive, Shandwick Baltimore
  • 1999 – Tami Alvarado, Magellan Health Services

PR Team Award

This award underscores the truth that most great PR programs are a team effort. The PR Team Award recognizes a high-performing communications team that effectively supports its clients’ and its organization’s communications objectives.  In-house communications teams within an agency, corporate, non-profit or government organization are eligible for nomination. Nominated teams do not need to be PRSA members but must demonstrate ethical behavior in accordance with the PRSA Code of Ethics.

PR Team of the Year Nomination Form

  • Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company: Team members: Donna Wilson, Jim Taylor, Claudia Ciolfi, Carolyn Gutermuth, Dianna Fornaro, Archie Johnson and Meaghan Yurek

Educator of the Year

The PRSA Maryland Educator of the Year Program recognizes and honors exemplary undergraduate and graduate public relations/communications professors that are excellent instructors and education leaders in their schools and communities. Nominees do not need to be a PRSA-MD member to be nominated, however PRSSA Chapter involvement is highly regarded. The award recognizes an educator based on the following.

  • An educator in a public relations/communications program in a Maryland College or University
  • A history of participation in PRSSA and/or other organizations dedicated to the advancement of the communications profession
  • A dedication to the advancement of students within public relations/communications.
  • Conduct consistent with the PRSA Code of Ethics.

Educator Of The Year Nomination Form

Educator of the Year Past Winners

  • 2016 – Veronica Gunnerson, Loyola University Maryland
  • 2015 – Cylor Spaulding, Ph.D., Towson University
  • 2014 – Dr. Leeanne Bell McManus, Stevenson University
  • 2013 – Lester R Potter, Towson University
  • 2012 – Karen Smedley, Loyola University

Partner of Distinction

This award celebrates the profession’s partners. The recipient of this award is a vendor or supplier recognized for outstanding support of a public relations/communications program or the profession as a whole. This category is open for nominations from companies and vendors/suppliers. Nominees do not need to be a PRSA-MD member to be nominated.

Partner of Distinction Nomination Form

Partner of Distinction Past Winners

  • 2015 – Erickson Living
  • 2014 – Hack|Stone Film Group
  • 2012 – Business Wire

*Nominations are accepted throughout the year and are presented at the Best In Maryland Awards Gala & Holiday party in December. No fees apply.

**We’re searching our archives but are still missing a few names. If you know of a past professional winner that is not listed here, please send to info@prsamd.org so we can add to the list.